This undated file photo that is part of a missing person poster released by Alaska State Troopers shows Ashley Johnson-Barr. The 10-year-old girl was found dead Friday, Sept. 14, 2018 more than a week after she was reported missing in Kotzebue. Federal charges were filed Monday against Peter Wilson, 41, in connection to the death of Johnson-Barr. (Alaska State Troopers via AP, File)

This undated file photo that is part of a missing person poster released by Alaska State Troopers shows Ashley Johnson-Barr. The 10-year-old girl was found dead Friday, Sept. 14, 2018 more than a week after she was reported missing in Kotzebue. Federal charges were filed Monday against Peter Wilson, 41, in connection to the death of Johnson-Barr. (Alaska State Troopers via AP, File)

Kotzebue man charged in connection with girl’s death

Peter Wilson of Kotzebue faces charges of making false statements to a federal agent investigating death of Ashley Johnson-Barr

Charging documents say an Alaska man had the cellphone of missing 10-year-old girl, and GPS coordinates of where the phone had traveled led police to the girl’s body.

Peter Wilson of Kotzebue was formally charged Monday with making false statements as police tried to find Ashley Johnson-Barr, who had been missing since Sept. 6. Her body was found Friday.

Wilson will make his first appearance in U.S. District Court in Anchorage on Tuesday. Online court records do not list an attorney for Wilson.

An affidavit filed by FBI Special Agent Michael Watson says it appears the girl was murdered, but her death remains under investigation.

The affidavit says Wilson lied to investigators when he denied knowing Ashley, even though they are related.

Residents in the remote Inupiat Eskimo town helped search for the girl in vain. The FBI sent 17 investigators to the community of 3,100 people on Alaska’s northwestern coast.

Court records show investigators used cellphone records to find Johnson-Barr’s body. Wilson provided Johnson-Barr’s cellphone to police, saying he found it in the street. That was a lie, prosecutors say, and an FBI agent who interviewed Wilson uncovered other inconsistencies in his statements.

Wilson said he didn’t drive a four-wheeler on the day Johnson-Barr went missing. Other witnesses told the FBI that Wilson used one to leave his home for about two hours that day.

Cellphone records provided by GCI to police indicate that Johnson-Barr’s cellphone traveled from Rainbow Park — where the girl was last seen — to a brushy location two miles east of town. That was where police and the FBI found her body.

In Kotzebue, Terri Walker, assistant superintendent of the Northwest Arctic Borough School District, said counselors were on hand at the girl’s school for students who needed them.

More in Home

Curtis Davis sharpens a spike at his makeshift campsite near Juneau International Airport on Sunday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
With no official place to camp, homeless and neighborhoods alike are suffering miseries

Complaints to JPD nearly double, social agencies seek “safety zone,” many campers just want peace.

Alaska Supreme Court Justice Peter Maassen receives applause from his fellow justices and members of the Alaska Legislature during the annual State of the Judiciary address on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, at the Alaska State Capitol. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Gov. Dunleavy will be asked to pick fourth state Supreme Court justice

Applications being accepted to replace Peter Maassen, who reaches mandatory retirement age next year

Shannan Greene (left) and Sharyn Augustine hold signs on April 27 urging residents to sign recall petitions for Juneau Board of Education President Deedie Sorensen and Vice President Emil Mackey due to their roles in a budget crisis for the current fiscal year. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
School board recall petitions submitted; supporters of Saturday cruise ship ban need more signatures

Third initiative seeking to repeal default by-mail elections also has 10 days to get more signers.

Pins supporting the repeal of ranked choice voting are seen on April 20 at the Republican state convention in Anchorage. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska ranked choice repeal measure wins first round of legal challenge, but trial awaits

An Anchorage Superior Court judge has ruled in favor of a proposed… Continue reading

Juneau resident Ajah Rose Bishop, 21, suffered severe spinal injuries in a single-vehicle accident early Saturday morning. (GoFundMe fundraiser photo)
Woman breaks spine in single-vehicle collision on Egan Drive early Saturday morning

21-year-old Juneau resident medivaced to Anchorage, online fundraising effort underway.

Lady Baltimore, a bald eagle in Alaska who survived a poaching attempt, rests in her Juneau Raptor Center mew on Aug. 15, 2015. (Photo by Michael Haase, republished under a <a href="https://outlook.office.com/mail/safelink.html?url=https%3A%2F%2Fcommons.m.wikimedia.org%2Fwiki%2FFile%3ALady_Baltimore%2C_in_her_habitat.jpg&locale=en-US&wau=https%3A%2F%2FCAN01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com%2FGetUrlReputation&wid=00730A1A-3310-48BA-AB07-9EC288151649&corid=fe4b86a4-d74c-6b07-ee96-c3ad70e72fe9&srcid=db9d34a3-417f-4f35-e51e-08dc89cbd38e&appname=Microsoft+Outlook+Web+App&appver=20240531006.10&os=Windows+11&scdt=2024-06-11T04%3A06%3A03.000Z&pc=SiNIE2UHOqjsTDeXu7Qfyl%252f0MuM1kiKgjDI2DLrLH1JtQskx5i5%252bdCN7xoG7%252fK1PRa6yy%252fZ3XSb1i%252flsuVK3Vg2H8GhlH8EI66vwnIpdMySAeNhuPkGF9oUXcpmLa7wYfp9hYljGPlX%252fSUN0ka%252fb9fuEHTl%252bfeMVuBW0L4IqZfn4gHRu5Ez07auJmxfEe%252fyzlCybtU5MUoj7vmFiXew9dmOaFtr%252f%252bdd17LZaSzB7cB7Tj8KAmKqi%252ftoT4SC80diZ20XyICPcpGppo4wisO2jK4br%252bAjP63uYoLki25GD4vg6DSSzG20omh1G23J5Mq7yBlLkouXe1e%252fJecID3cLJfeijvHoke%252fFySGVtSlX%252bC0yuPc9PBaswFDfPD8y%252bq%252fplEBKO0X%252fIqyibnqn0nCLKAb7C5Y6T%252fILLzAy07ubY6JHVJpxVmgN5nhYoJz4MNCFbSTrI%252bgXG1dJyW6J2s1lZuaC3wxLjKQYLxbxMZHBXXynxwJtpM1t6LenhuuRdIrFoA46%252bhWWG6ktdCHYONSJ06udG9wIbL1hY%252fEt8kuNBMlPVvuDeYerfRKWMDky9QjvrZCq0oOKLYZbfOzjYmQyMo8XmSPPfSCg%252fUSJiroVTfZUB%252fLKWUUPMVcpyrDcG%252bTJfmaDa3HYVORIM04OyCm7D4S1deoPf1%252bl%252bQ6xLjwqr%252bNipW51fespW%252fhPNEdZvYtkEX1WHv0uEXq%252fsfKcJbiYWeoC7HQvc9LSuXxQTixmRbyptbfMCZL3yGoOwfax0o0dr5zRwBB6aByMBxXXnIq6EtkdpCrdK20tdcp10%252f6cgbwSRykCRtWWHjfcin4%252foTuur3I6RhyYTjSBVmmjG86far6r4mu28yX11kGGSwkT068%252fzNolbsJy72QcOwQbEFxExwDPwnCpI5joLpqPPTd5iY7trqLiJEPE5Nq8SF5aVbkJ1ls3KNAH%252bGUKaMLGO0JopoKwd%252bcITA26Og3W5jwkL4vZqwax7zOVJ1QXW0or5msVz1dGhQEPMFHDNoRXA49PqYVp8uhybRod%252bc8HOL9Ardc%252fJyiaFGtYuGJjFILBPJPFvIfhIF1tvyhvXbtJYHTrS2EHPLydOALIXXFQOu02a9Ky7JL16AafcjAKSoNvefUHoox83YCUid70tE6tayBEx1YLPIwe5OmR1TPuH50EUNfPFwVsJPTc%252b5%252fSmGp8LVhh36y1pEcf%252fyEbCFPZYvZuAgux1d%252btAU0%252f%252bDTp4WssPiTZJ7njswKiaMtHqeyithLO2v1ggqi2qeu%252bpPqwRo5owqSW6BNgPCEduo1cJFRBFyfGiUKCcxAjLt%252ba3q7LkYI6ujxsf8oPlyZf4Td7beQ3KgrOo572qp2H%252fBaQCPcRlAiY%252feJCGOqwnIcrnr%252f2C7ovGbjx9D0mzpqEcCojm9b2sRT5uzuM19NsYfRsCghgqnIvBD%252fUaJbj1OMZpuobrqTihpEcMAB2%252bXl32lg3PDC2J%3B+expires%3DWed%2C+12+Jun+2024+22%3A21%3A19+GMT%3B+path%3D%2F%3B+SameSite%3DNone%3B+secure%3B+httponly&urlsrc=Body&msgdata=eyJJc1VybEJlaW5nU2Nhbm5lZCI6IiIsIlVybFdyaXRlVGltZSI6IjYvMTEvMjAyNCA0OjA3OjI2IEFNIiwiQVNEaXJlY3Rpb25hbGl0eSI6IjEiLCJQaGlzaEVkdSI6IjAiLCJNc2dTY2FuU3VzcGljaW9uTGV2ZWwiOiIzIn0%3D" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> license)
Legends of Lady Baltimore, Juneau’s famous bald eagle, fly on after her death

Rescued bird that became famous Mount Roberts inhabitant euthanized due to failing health.

In the spirit of Dolly Parton’s country music roots, race participant Mendenhall River Community School Principal Eric Filardi runs in costume with young Lucy Vogel wearing heart-shaped sunglasses as they enjoy the sunny Saturday weather on the Airport Dike Trail race course. About 85 runners participated, many wearing pearls and pink hats provided at the starting tent. (Laurie Craig / Juneau Empire)
Busting out the pink and pearls at the first Dolly Dash

Dolly Parton-inspired fun run raises funds for free books for kids.

Celebration 2024 participants dance across and around the main stage at Centennial Hall during the Grand Exit ceremony Saturday evening. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Celebration 2024 ends four days of traditional and new events with a Grand Exit

Participants combine thunderous tribute to heritage with spirit of an intimate family gathering.

David A. Boxley, wearing a Ravenstail-trimmed robe, and his son David R. Boxley sing and drum in Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall on Saturday afternoon as Metlakatla’s Git Hoan dancers perform a canoe paddling dance featuring a large carved headdress created by Git Hoan’s senior Boxley. (Laurie Craig / Juneau Empire)
Photos: Git Hoan brings stories to life in dance and art during Celebration

Metlakatla dancers among 36 Indigenous groups sharing their heritage during four-day event.

Most Read